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[fawr-tee-ith] /ˈfɔr ti ɪθ/
next after the thirty-ninth; being the ordinal number for 40.
being one of 40 equal parts.
a fortieth part, especially of one (1/40).
the fortieth member of a series.
Origin of fortieth
before 1100; Middle English fourtithe, Old English fēowertigotha. See forty, -eth2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fortieth
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • A handsome man in his fortieth year, he stood six feet three with broad shoulders and a powerful frame.

    The Long Voyage Carl Richard Jacobi
  • Dryden and Scott were not known as authors until each was in his fortieth year.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • Nawab Singha, who was deprived of his estates, was reckoned the fortieth chief of his race.

    An Account of The Kingdom of Nepal Fancis Buchanan Hamilton
  • His children are pensioned into the third and fourth and fortieth generation.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • By this plan the German army was to reach Paris on the fortieth day after mobilization.

    The War in the Air; Vol. 1 Walter Raleigh.
  • It was Jerome's fortieth birthday when Anne refused him again.

  • Here is the fortieth Alabama's standard—rally men to your standard!

    The Bishop of Cottontown John Trotwood Moore
  • No two thoughts were related to each other even by the fortieth cousinship.

    The World I Live In Helen Keller
British Dictionary definitions for fortieth


  1. being the ordinal number of forty in numbering or counting order, position, time, etc. Often written: 40th
  2. (as noun): he was the fortieth
  1. one of 40 approximately equal parts of something
  2. (as modifier): a fortieth part
the fraction equal to one divided by 40 (1/40)
Word Origin
Old English fēowertigotha
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fortieth

Old English feowertigoða, from feowertig (see forty) + -th (1). Cf. Old Norse fertugonde, Swedish fyrationde, Danish fyrretyvende.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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